Commitment to SDGs

CHAIRING a meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday to review progress on implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif emphasised that Centre and provincial governments should work hand-in-hand through matching grant basis to implement SDGs. The sectored SDG programme for Pakistan includes electrification schemes, rehabilitation of electricity distribution infrastructure, gas and natural resources, new schools and up-gradation of existing schools with provision of facilities, construction of Basic Health Units and Regional Health Centres, up-gradation of existing health facilities, construction and rehabilitation of Farm to Market roads.
As is evident from the goals listed above, the country would gain immensely if these are realised within the stipulated framework and in the words of Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal the country would join the league of upper middle class countries by mid 2030s should these goals are achieved. Like other developing countries, Pakistan too, however, faces the prospects of funding these goals within its limited resources and constraints. However, with better coordination between federal and provincial governments, we can achieve optimal results. Federal government is busy creating or improving infrastructure in all the four provinces, FATA, GB and Azad Kashmir. This means saving for provincial governments and they can, in turn, focus on farm-to-market roads. Only the other day, Federal Cabinet cleared a proposal for establishment of 46 modern hospitals in all parts of the country and therefore, provinces can spare resources to improve working of dispensaries and basic health units. Federal government has also embarked upon a programme for upgradation and improvement of educational institutions of the capital and provinces can emulate the plan in their respective jurisdiction. Experts also point out that rapid advances in realisation of the SDGs can be made by developing human resources so that people can effectively contribute and benefit from the economic development. Given the interest shown by Prime Minister, it is hoped that tangible progress would be made as far as implementation of SDGs are concerned.

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